Watch the cash
“I know it sounds blindingly obvious but you would be surprised at how many startups only look at the cash just before a board meeting, and instantly forget about it until the next.
For the first few years most startups wrestle to extract enough cash from their nascent business model and it’s all to easy to get excited and distracted by the promise of pipelines and future revenues and loose sight of the cash flow.
But cold hard cash is the ultimate startup barometer. How it ebbs and flows over time can guide you on where best to focus your attention on the business. Cash is hard earned and easy spent and nothing will kill your business faster than ignoring it.
We kept the ‘current cash-in-bank’ figure written in the top right corner of a whiteboard in my office. Its unrelenting gaze made me work harder to bring in revenue and harder yet to convert it to near-term cash. It also made me think carefully about the value of any expenditure and ask myself if there was really a good ROI or a better alternative.
There are lots of great business measures you can layer on top, just make sure they all boil down to cash.”